Another dinner at the Oxford Union

I was in Oxford for a Union debate on the topic of positive discrimination (aka affirmative action). It makes news at top universities because the government is pressuring them to take more students from state schools by selectively lowering the standards required of them. I was the last speaker, so had to take it steady […]

Chinese-style dinner

There were pre-cooked prawns, and two hungry people. In no overall order, I made three dishes. For the prawns, I fried chilli, ginger, and garlic, and then added soy sauce. I poured this over the prawns, and set them to one side. As we were hungry, I diced up turkey breast steaks, and fried these […]

Hotel Chocolat

The British chocolate company Hotel Chocolat (their flagship store is in High Street Kensington) has launched in the US. To celebrate this, they sent me $300 worth of their finest, most beautiful hand-piped chocolates. There was a time when I wouldn’t have been able to keep such things in the house, but I guess it […]

Leftover brocolli

What to do with leftover brocolli that doesn’t involve soup…? I started by removing the yellowing parts as I floretted the stuff. It then got steamed for about 5 minutes. When it was done, I put it in a blender with crème fraîche and goats’ cheese. I blended to a soft consistency, then shaped into […]

Dinner in Trinity

It started with a rather good cauliflower soup; it was good because it had enough black pepper in it to give it real bite. The main course was stuffed chicken leg with shallot sauce, roast potatoes and peas. The potatoes were too stiff throughout, rather than crunchy on the outside and soft within. The chicken […]

Tiptree tomato sauce

Tiptree’s version of ketchup is fantastic. It’s thick and tastes of tomatoes, and the vinegar doesn’t come through too strongly either. There’s a nice balance of spice and sweetness too. The finishing touching is great: each bottle has a label on the top, this morning’s said, proudly, “Finished by Linda.” I had a blob of […]

New wine at Thai Square

Of the new wines on show at the Thai Square, sitting on the south side of Trafalgar Square, we chose Palena ’06, a cabernet sauvignon rosé from Chile’s Central Valley, and made by New Zealander Brett Jackson, settled out there. It’s full of summer fruit flavours including strawberry and raspberry and with a full fruity […]

Rabbit Soup

Baxters is famous for its Royal Game soup, which contains a mix of pheasant and venison, along with heart and liver of venison. I didn’t have any of those, but I did have the rabbit giblets… I started by draining the liquid from the giblet stock, and separating the giblets from the carrot peelings and […]

Lapin au vin

Cambridge’s Origin8 is a fantastic shop and deli, with a wide range of local food including, often, game. On Sunday, they had a couple of local net-caught wild rabbits. They were large, and cheap – £6.50 – and complete with a full set of giblets! I got the rabbit home, and took it out of […]

Hot chocolate

I hardly ever drink hot chocolate because I invariably find it too sweet. The stuff in coffee shops seems to come over-sweetened to my tastes. I occasionally make cocoa at home with semi-skimmed goat’s milk, but I don’t add sugar to it. However, I think I’ll try Sam Stern’s hot chocolate. Like many of his […]

Stuffed squid rings?

It sounded intriguing. After the welcoming glass of Cava at About Thyme in Wilton Road near Victoria I ordered the grilled goat’s cheese on a bed of Mediterranean vegetables (including red peppers and aubergine). Then came the pan-fried calamari stuffed with Scottish salmon and with a mixed leaf salad. Stuffed squid rings? The trick is, […]

Cambridge port and cheese party

A Cambridge port and cheese party is perhaps popular because it is easy as well as inexpensive. Cocktails or beers would cost more, and wines, too, given the almost limitless capacity of some students. The student Conservatives negotiate special bulk rates for both the port and the cheese, and provide them in limitless quantities. People […]